Actor-network state: Integrating actor-network theory and state theory

Jan Hendrik Passoth, Nicholas J. Rowland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


This conceptual article draws on literature in the sociology of science on modelling. The authors suggest that if state theory can be conceptualized as an 'engine' rather than merely a 'camera', in that policy is mobilized to make the world fit the theory, then this has implications for conceptualizing states. To examine this possibility the authors look through the lens of actor-network theory (ANT) and in doing so articulate a relationship between two models of the state in the literature. They find that an 'actor model' of the state is accepted by many scholars, few of whom develop 'network models' of the state. In response, this study introduces an actor-network model and proposes that its contribution to state theory is in rethinking the character of modern states to be the outcome of actually performed assemblages of all those practices of building it, protecting it, governing it and theorizing about it.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)818-841
Number of pages24
JournalInternational Sociology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science


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